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Risenhoover & McKnight take 1st place at Skeeter Bass Champs on Toledo Bend with 20.22 lbs
By Patty Lenderman

Ronald Risenhoover and Jerry McKnight said that they "just got lucky", winning 1st place at Skeeter Bass Champs on Toledo Bend on May 7th. Exactly 200 teams went out looking for the right five bass combination to win a part of over $69,000 given out in cash and prizes.

Bright blue skies and moderate winds to 15mph blanketed the playing field, with temperatures rising to the 80 degree mark. Even with these seemingly perfect conditions, the bite was hard to find for many of these teams. Only 74 limits were brought to the scales, but among them were several nice kickers.

Risenhoover and McKnight brought in the winning sack weighing 20.22 lbs. Over half of their total weight was in their kicker, a 10.44 lb sow that also grabbed the $1,000 Big Bass check sponsored by Kicker Fish Bait Co. "We caught one on a topwater first thing in the morning, about a 4 lb'r. Then we started throwing a carolina rig, and caught one more. After that, we just tried to get out of the wind. We didn't have but two fish before 1:30, and that's when we caught the big one. I could see her coming. She looked like a torpedo coming at it." Ronald put her in the boat using a Daichi circle hook with a watermelon wacky worm. "We caught four more good ones in a 100 yard stretch along a shallow grassy flat." They won a 2005 Skeeter SX 200 bass boat rigged with a Yamaha 200 outboard motor, Motorguide trolling motor and Lowrance electronics valued at $34,000. Ronald said that he had told his son that if he ever won big, then he would take him to Disney World, never dreaming that he actually would win. He just laughed and shook his head. "I guess we're going!"

David Decuir and Chris McCready took 2nd place honors with 19.64 lbs, taking home a check for $4,000. "We used the new Reaction Lures Ribbits frog, in a watermelon red with a pearl belly. We pitched them in the lilly pads over 10' of water. All but one of our fish were in the boat by 9:30" David said. They finished their limit later in the day, and being that this is only their second time to fish Bass Champs, and they were very happy with the results.

Steve & Eddie Rhea went to Six Mile for their fish. They stayed on the grass flats at the mouth of Six Mile, throwing 1/4 oz George Jeanne chartreuse & white spinnerbaits. They also pitched ½ oz black & blue Oldham jigs with Zoom chunk trailers in the bare spots. Their limit weighed 19.26 lbs, and Steve caught their kicker at 11:30, weighing in at 9.74 lbs. "It was real slow for us today, we only caught five keepers." They won a check for $3,000.

Randy Patin and Rick Skidmore came in 4th place, and being the highest finishing qualified Skeeter boat owner team, doubled their $2,000 winnings to a $4,000 finish.

Top 10 teams:
1st 20.22 lbs $34,000 Ronald Risenhoover & Jerry McKnight
2nd 19.64 lbs $ 4,000 David Decuir & Chris McCready
3rd 19.26 lbs $ 3,000 Steve & Eddie Rhea
4th 19.04 lbs $ 2,000 Randy Patin & Rick Skidmore
5th 18.26 lbs $ 1,200 Mack Rose & Max Hawthorne
6th 18.24 lbs $ 1,100 Dusty Anders & Shane Lurry
7th 18.18 lbs $ 1,080 Keith Allison & Donnie Hyatt
8th 17.80 lbs $ 1,070 Rusty Clark & Shelby Shaw
9th 17.32 lbs $ 1,060 Richie Koonce & Mac McElveen
10th 17.20 lbs $ 1,050 Steve Benson & Kevin Joiner
.....and last in the money....
25th 13.28 lbs $ 600 Shannon Bertrand & Danny LeBoeuf

There are several ways to win at Bass Champs. There are trivia questions, a flipping contest, smallest fish award, and several open drawings. The crowd is encouraged to participate with the trivia questions and the open charity drawing that you can qualify for by purchasing a ticket. At each event, a different organization brings workers and volunteers to help with the weigh in. Bass Champs and their sponsors provide the prizes to be drawn for. At this event, over $1,300 worth of prizes were up for grabs benefitting the Boy Scout Troop #181 from Lumberton, TX. Bass Champs matched the funds up to $500.
The last East Texas division event will be held on Sam Rayburn June 4th, with the Regional Championship immediately afterward on June 5th. For more information, complete standings and Angler of the Year information please contact Skeeter Bass Champs at 817-439-3274 or visit their website

All teams who enter all 5 qualifying events automatically qualify for that regions Tour Championship. The top 10 in Angler of the Year points and the top 10 in Tour Championship qualify for the State Championship. The State Championship will be October 7-8, the lake is yet to be announced.

Ronald Risenhoover & Jerry McKnight won 1st place with 20.22 lbs, plus Big Bass honors with their 10.44 lb kicker

2nd place went to David Decuir & Chris McCready, weighing in at 19.64 lbs
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

Steve & Eddie Rhea brought in 19.26 lbs for a 3rd place finish

This fully rigged 2005 Skeeter boat powered by a Yamaha motor valued at $34,000 was presented to Risenhoover & McKnight for their 1st place win

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